Julia Bradbury: “Walking keeps me sane”

4 April 2017

4 April 2017 - TV presenter and avid walker Julia Bradbury is calling for Brits to increase their physical activity to help them to be better prepared to meet with life’s challenges.

Following AXA PPP healthcare’s finding that almost two-thirds (62 per cent)* of Brits want to be more resilient (defined as the ability to bounce back from setbacks and to keep going in the face of tough demands and difficult circumstances),** Julia Bradbury shares her simple but effective top tip to help make this desire a reality – go for a walk. Julia has teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare and its director of psychological services, Dr Mark Winwood, to encourage the nation to get more physical and to talk about how taking steps to build her own resilience has helped her through tough times.

Julia has found herself drawing on her resilience when overcoming both personal and professional challenges. She comments: “I feel incredibly resilient but it’s been a learning process and some of it is the result of having to survive unexpected difficulties – as we all do. I was diagnosed with life-threatening pre-eclampsia which threatened the lives of me and my unborn children. I’ve been through multiple rounds of IVF and both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer within a year of each other. My career has seen me in situations that have tested my physical abilities and my mental strength, requiring me to call upon skills I didn’t know I had, to tell myself to keep going. At times like these walking is my go-to therapy – a time to process my thoughts and gain perspective on problems.”


My top tips to build resilience are:  
  1. Believe in yourself. You’re mentally stronger and more resilient to life’s challenges than you might think.
  2. Physical activity is key. Whether it’s a trip to the gym or simply walking at lunchtime, it all counts.
  3. Protect and value relationships with your family and friends. Supporting each other and knowing you can count on them is incredibly nurturing – even better if you can persuade them to go walking with you!

Encouragingly, nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of the people polled by AXA PPP healthcare believe resilience is a skill that can be developed. And, when asked what factors they feel have the greatest impact on their resilience, over a third (39 per cent) rank exercise in the top three.*** So Julia’s call to encourage Brits to take strides to help nurture this is well-founded.

Dr Winwood adds: “People may assume resilience is a quality or capability that can only be built by nurturing a positive mindset. But this isn’t true – physical activity and energy management play important roles in our ability to see the bigger picture and be able to deal with tough demands. Exercising can be a great source of energy – releasing endorphins to boost your mood. Use walking as time for a ‘digital detox’. Take time out to appreciate your surroundings and disconnect yourself from the stresses of everyday life. This is about positive, physical exercise to improve your mental attitude. Equally, ensuring we get good quality sleep enables us to recharge and be better prepared to meet life’s challenges. We all have an inherent level of resilience and it’s important we find ways to strengthen and maintain it each day so we can face whatever is thrown at us and come out stronger.”

Julia Bradbury and AXA PPP healthcare are urging Brits to pledge to take a brisk walk for 30 minutes, five times a week for four weeks, to improve mood as well as strengthen the heart and muscles. The Walk30 #TRYit challenge starts on 3 April 2017.


Further information

Notes to editors



Ben Faulkner/John DuBois AXA PPP healthcare press office 01892 612822

About AXA PPP healthcare

AXA PPP healthcare – one of the largest and most experienced private medical insurance providers in the UK – has been helping people to access healthcare services since 1940. Today it forms the UK healthcare arm of AXA and provides cover for medical and dental care for individuals and employers, and employee wellbeing, counselling, occupational health and rehabilitation services through its specialist Health Services division.        AXA PPP healthcare has been named the Best Healthcare Provider for three years running in the Your Money Awards and, in June 2015, was awarded the prestigious accolade of European Large Contact Centre of the Year at the 2015 European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards, followed in September 2015 by the Best Customer Experience accolade in the Large Contact Centre category of the UK Customer Experience Awards 2015.

About AXA

The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 166,000 employees serving 107 million clients in 64 countries. In 2016, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 100.2 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.7 billion. AXA had Euro 1,429 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2016. In 2016 Interbrand ranked AXA the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 8th consecutive year.

In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Insurance, AXA PPP healthcare and AXA Ireland. AXA employs over 10,000 staff in the UK. The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY. 

The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.

It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.